Record overnight low temp, and thousands still without electricity
A new record cold temperature was registered overnight, with the mercury dropping to -32.2°C in Salla, in eastern Lapland – the coldest all winter. The previous low was -30.2°C recorded at Sodankylä. Meanwhile thousands of people are still without electricity this morning, as repairs continue from winter storm Aapeli which swept through the region on Wednesday. Some 13,000 people don’t have power, most of them in Ostrobothnia in the Vaasa Power Network area. At one point up to 120,000 customers didn’t have electricity after the storm which brought near-hurricane strength winds to some parts of the country.
Norway search for missing Finns continues
The search for three Finnish men and a Swedish woman continues this morning in Norway. The group is missing in the mountain region of Troms County in northern Norway. The four climbers were last seen on Wednesday afternoon on their way to climb the 1440 metres high Blåbärfjellet. An initial search late on Wednesday was suspended due to poor visibility and the danger of avalanches. There have been several avalanches in the area, according to police one of them was 300 metres wide and up to 600 metres long.
Report: Airiston Helmi owners dodged €1m taxes
Lännen Media is reporting this morning that the owners of Airiston Helmi have dodged more than €1m in taxes. The National Bureau of Investigation says they’ve found more evidence of tax evasion, indicating there might have been large scale money laundering going on at the archipelago business. Several hundred police, backed by the military, raided properties belonging to the company in September. They found lots of communications equipment, buildings outfitted as bunk houses, and confiscated encrypted hard drives, phones and several million euros in cash. Two people linked to Airston Helmi were put in jail in September initially on suspicions of money laundering and tax fraud. One Estonian man was released in December. A Russian national is still in prison. They are contesting the allegations.
Finns score a win over Canada in u20 World Champs
Finland’s Toni Utunen scored a goal late into overtime against Canada to secure a dramatic 2-1 over the hosts, one of the favourites to win the whole tournament. It means that Canada has crashed out of the competition in the quarter finals and now can’t win a medal. “We played really well for 60 minutes” says Finnish coach Jussi Ahokas. “The biggest thing is, we had lots of chances. We’ve had lots of chances all tournament, but the bounces haven’t come until now. It was a huge victory for our team” he told reporters. The Finns now face Switzerland in the semi finals – the Swiss defeated Sweden 2-0 to send them home in the other quarter final.
ICYMI: 5×5 our top text & video stories of the last year
The last 12 months have been busy for journalists in Finland – from covering the presidential election, a wave of protest strikes, record hot summer weather and the Helsinki Summit of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump; to politics, art, environment and the economy – and more! So which of the News Now Finland stories caught our readers’ attention during 2018? It’s range of hard news journalism like our investigation into Finnish-made Patria vehicles deployed in the Yemen and our Brexit coverage too; plus stories about the environment as well as weather news and our in-depth political reporting. Read the whole list, and discover more stories, here.
Thursday morning weather
It’s a very cold morning if you’re waking up in Finland! That record low overnight temperature continues into the morning, it’s down to -26°C in north and west Lapland, and -30°C in the east. Down into central Finland the temperature starts the day around -17°C and -20°C along parts of the eastern border with snow in the forecast. In the south, and capital city region, expect temperatures around -10°C. It’s a couple of degrees warmer in Turku and the south west and the strong winds of winter storm Aapeli have already died down a lot.